Northern Australia Defence Summit

Hosted by the NT Government, this policy-driven event will look at the opportunities for Australia’s Defence industry in Northern Australia.
10 – 11 October 2018 | Darwin Convention Centre





2018 Agenda

Welcome Reception | Tuesday 09 October 2018

Enjoy the picturesque surroundings and gorgeous view of the Darwin horizon at Parliament House as the Chief Minister welcomes attendees to the 5th Annual ADM Northern Australia Defence Summit.

Hosted by: The Hon Michael Gunner MLA, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government

18:00 – 19:30 | Main Hall, Parliament House

KEYNOTE ADDRESS | Chief Minister’s Welcome Address

The Hon Michael Gunner MLA, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government


DAY 1 | Wednesday 10 October 2018

8:00 Registration and morning coffee


9:00 OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair


9:10 KEYNOTE | Ministerial Address

The Hon Michael Gunner MLA, Chief Minister, Northern Territory Government


9:45 KEYNOTE | Northern Australia’s Strategic Importance

10:20 Networking and refreshment break

10:50 United States Force Posture Initiatives

  • Highlighting the benefits of defence bilateral agreements
  • Looking at the current and future presence of the US Military in Northern Australia

Brigadier Mark Brewer, Director-General US Force Posture Initiatives, Department of Defence

11:25 Asia Pacific Geo-Politics and Australia’s Position

Prof John Blaxland, Head, Strategic and Defence Studies

12:00 Lunch and networking break

13:00 Chinese Military Modernisation – Key Trends

  • Chinese militarisation of South China Sea – implications for region and for Australia
  • How might events on Korean Peninsula affect China’s strategic calculus?
  • US role in Asia remains uncertain amidst Korean crisis and China-US trade war

Dr Malcolm Davis, Senior Analyst, Australian Strategic Policy Institute

13:35 It’s not all about China: The Re-emergence of Russia as a Global Player and the Exerting of their Influence in the Asia-Pacific

  • Russia’s current strategic and defence policy
  • Russian military power in the Indo-Asia-Pacific: force posture and power projection
  • Operational activity and defense diplomacy in the Indo-Asia-Pacific
  • Force modernisation and capability upgrade: impact on the regional and global balance of power

A/Professor Alexey Muraviev, Head of the Department of Social Studies and Security Studies, Curtin University


14:10 ROUNDTABLE | Partnering with local Indigenous employers and maximising output

  • Highlighting recent collaboration with Indigenous business
  • How can all levels of Defence Industry improve and build partnerships?

15:00 Afternoon Tea & Networking Break

15:30 Construction industry developments in the Northern Territory

Allan Schmidt, Sector Leader Defence, Sitzler

16:05 The work of the Regional Force Surveillance Group (RFSG) in delivering outcomes supporting both National Sovereignty and Indigenous Engagement and Development in Northern Australia

Colonel John Papalitsas, CSC Commander, Regional Force Surveillance Group

16:40 ROUNDTABLE | Silos to collaboration, how can we maximise collaboration for economic development

  • Thinking outside the square to promote the Northern Territory, in particular Katherine
  • What does our future workforce look like? (Is there a workforce talent group?)
  • How can we develop our young people and keep them here?
  • What are the succession planning barriers we are facing with international collaboration? (scenario planning)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston (Ret’d), Former Chief of Air Force and Chief of the Defence Force
Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib AM (Ret’d), CSC Defence and National Security Advocate for the Northern Territory
Simon Maddocks, President and Vice-Chancellor, Charles Darwin University
Liz Watchman, Director of People and Culture, Babcock Australia
Moderator: Darrin Grimsey, Oceania Defence Leader, EY

17:25 CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

17:30 Networking Drinks


Gala Dinner | Wednesday 10 October 2018

The Australian Industry Defence Network (AIDN) will be holding their annual Gala Dinner and Defence Industry Awards that will coincide with this year’s Northern Australia Defence Summit. The event is separate to the conference and requires addition registration. Dine and network with your colleagues in a relaxed setting and enjoy the fine territory hospitality.

18:00 | Darwin Convention Centre

Address: Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston (Ret’d), Former Chief of Air Force and Chief of the Defence Force


DAY 2 | Thursday 11 October 2018

8:50 OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair


9:00 KEYNOTE | Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) role in building America’s future

The mission of SAME is to lead collaborative efforts to identify and resolve US national security infrastructure-related challenges. We do that through five key pillars and creating partnerships across the industry to accomplish key objectives focused on:

  • Enhancing Industry-Government Engagement
  • Developing Leaders for our Profession
  • Producing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Professionals for the Nation
  • Preparing Veterans for the A/E/C Industry
  • Building Resilience throughout the country

Senior Representative, Society of American Military Engineers

9:30 PANEL | Delivering Defence infrastructure in northern Australia – Key issues and proposed approaches

Bob Baird AM, Department of Defence, Director Program Assurance, Capital Facilities and Infrastructure Branch
Sarah Brown, Department of Defence, Director, USFPI Infrastructure
Marko Misko, Partner, Clayton Utz
Moderator: Graham Read, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

10:15 Better Connecting Primes and Suppliers

  • What Do Primes Want?
  • What Makes a Good Supplier?

Kerryn Smith, CEO, AIDN NT

10:45 Address from Networking Break Sponsor

10:50 Networking and refreshment break


11:20 Attracting defence investment to the Northern Territory

  • Increasing Defence’s contribution to the local economy
  • Plans in place to attract international and domestic investment into the NT

11:50 Defence Local Industry Capability Plan

The governments long term vision to make Australia’s defence industry internationally competitive

12:20 Lunch, Networking and End of Conference